At NorthBridge, we keep up to date on all the most recent government funding updates, intake announcements and upcoming deadlines so you don’t have to. Each month, we will be providing a summary of the most important news in government funding. Get in touch today to learn more about each program and assess your eligibility.

For: Alberta-based SMEs looking to reduce GHG emissions in the province

Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) has opened intake for the $40-million Emerging Innovators Challenge, which will facilitate project de-risking and reducing time to market for Alberta businesses. Projects which reduce GHG emissions or enable a net-zero economy in Alberta in areas such as agriculture, critical minerals, digital solutions, and more, can receive funding for piloting, commercial demonstrations, or commercial implementation. 50% of eligible costs may be covered through the program.

Expressions of Interest for ERA Emerging Innovators Challenge are due by December 14, 2023.

For: Southern Ontario-based agriculture and agri-food companies looking to improve sustainability through innovative projects

The $2-million Ontario Agri-Food Research Initiative (OAFRI) offers funding under the $3.5-billion Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership towards applied research, pilot and demonstration, commercialization, and knowledge translation and transfer. Research priority areas under OMAFRA include food safety, animal health and welfare, plant health and protection, soil health, water quality and quantity, sustainable production systems, productive land capacity, competitive production systems, innovative products and product improvements, and trade market and targeted sector growth opportunities.

The deadline to apply for the applied research, pilot and demonstration, and commercialization streams of OAFRI is January 11, 2024.

For: Quebec-based companies looking to collaborate on innovative AI projects

The Partenar-IA Academic program, delivered through CQRDA, is designed to support collaborative projects in developing and commercializing artificial intelligence technologies. The program aims to improve business competitiveness through AI adoption, encourage collaborations, and position Quebec as a leader in AI development. Successful applications must involve at least 3 partners, with up to $1.5 million available for projects up to 36 months in duration.

An upcoming deadline for applications to Partenar-IA Academic is on January 12, 2024.   

For: Northern Ontario-based companies looking to develop innovative and sustainable agri-food products

The Sustainable New Agri-Food Products & Productivity Program (SNAPP) offers funding to agri-food companies that are undertaking projects to stimulate development, address challenges unique to northern Ontario, and improve efficiency, sustainability, and in the agri-food sector. Project activity streams include New Products, Productivity Enhancements, and Clean Growth in Agri-Food. Individual companies or partnerships can apply for the program, with up to 50% of costs covered.

Applications for intake 2 of SNAPP opened on November 6, 2023, and will close on January 12, 2024.

For: High-growth Southwestern or Eastern Ontario-based companies looking to grow, improve productivity, invest in innovation and skills development and expand into new markets

SWODF and EODF are aimed towards high-growth companies with at least three years of substantial operating experience, based in southwestern or eastern Ontario. Loans of up to $5 million are available for projects that aim to improve a company’s competitiveness, productivity, pursue new markets or expand the business through the introduction of new products or services. Available only to for-profit firms with at least three years of operating experience, the loan is interest free for the duration of the project, with the potential for partial loan forgiveness.

A new intake period for SWODF and EODF opens on December 7, 2023, and closes on January 25, 2024.

For: Canadian SMEs looking to advance food innovations and research outcomes

Canada Food Innovation Network (CFIN)’s Innovation Booster supports SMEs in addressing innovation challenges and technical hurdles being faced due to capacity limitations. Projects may receive up to 50% reimbursement and must correspond to at least one of CFIN’s priorities (Smart Product and Process Development, Food Ecosystem Sustainability, and/or Agile and Safe Supply Chains).

An open theme call for CFIN’s Innovation Booster will open on December 14, 2023, and close on January 11, 2024.

For: Nova Scotia-based energy companies looking to hire for the summer work term

The Energy Training Program is delivered by the Government of Nova Scotia to support summer work terms in the energy sector. Eligible SMEs based in Nova Scotia can access wage subsidies of 50-60% of student or recent graduate salaries for 12–17-week work terms.

Access the application by February 2, 2024.